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The Simple Way To Break Bad Habits In Toddlers

Updated on August 17, 2016
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My career as a nurse along with my experience as a mother combined with my passion in writing hopefully delivers great reading for others.

Active toddlers can be a real challenge to their parents
Active toddlers can be a real challenge to their parents
A bite is an impulse and it is most likely that your toddler is over excited and doing it without thinking.

The Most Common Nasty Habits Of Children:

Biting - Amongst all the bad habits toddlers have this one of the most common. Toddlers usually start the habit within the age group of one and three years old. The biting is neither premeditated nor an evil act. A bite is an impulse and it is most likely that your toddler is over excited and doing it without thinking. Since a bite is a whim it just seemed to be a good idea at the time. Biting is common in playgroups as there seem to be a lot of prey combined with the excitable and busy atmosphere.

What to do

Reacting to a bite will depend on the circumstances:

  • If the toddler just gives a minor nip in times of excitement you simply warn them and tell them that biting hurts.
  • There is no need for mouth guards try and divert the toddlers attention to something else.
  • If needed ignore the toddler that is biting and give attention to the person that was bitten.
  • Toddlers are most likely to strike biting when they are tired and stressed so limit their group playtime.

Finger up the Nose – When your toddler is bored they slip and along with this is their fingers sliding upwards and inwards. Usually a toddler that puts their fingers up their nose gets a stern reaction from their parents. So a tired and bored toddler repeatedly puts their fingers up their noses to annoy and see someone explode each time and that is a great entertainment for toddlers.

What to do:

  • Divert your toddlers attention and keep their hands busy.
  • When this habit is made into a game so your toddler can get a reaction out of you. Let your toddler know that you are not prepared to play and do not reward your toddler with an outburst.

Whingeing – We expect children that are tired and anxious to to whinge however this is a habit that truly tests parents. The trouble with whinging is it also depends on how a parents react. If your toddler wants to play in the rain and the parent says no. There may be a ten minute difficulty as the child whinges. Giving in to the child and changing your yes to no will be harmful to any parent’s sanity.

What to do:

  • Divert the toddler’s attention to something else.
  • If the diversion does not work try and ignore the toddler as this will give a strong message to the child.
  • Take your toddler outdoors most kids will stop their hostilities once they escape from restrictions.

Everybody has bad habits and toddlers are no exception. All that really matters is that our toddlers bad habits is all part of growing up.

A bored child is likely to interrupt adults
A bored child is likely to interrupt adults

Interrupting Adults – Toddlers tend to interrupt adults especially when they are talking to someone else. I have seen some situations that it is impossible to communicate in a household as a toddler regularly interrupts conversations. Toddlers have a short attention span and they think that if they do not say their piece as soon as they can it will be gone and forgotten. Toddlers tend to interrupt when visitors call in or when they are on the phone.

What to do:

  • Be prepared for disjointed conversations. Share your attention between your guest and your toddler.
  • It is best to do long telephone conversation at night or when the toddler is in bed.
  • Create a stash of special toys and DVDs that you only use so you can get uninterrupted time.
  • Usually by the end of the toddler phase the constant interruption will resolve itself.

Playing with Privates – Most toddlers will play with their genitals at some time or another. This has no sexual overcomes and it is normal with toddlers. Both toddler boys and girls play as they discover regions of their body made available to them.

What to do:

  • The treatment will be to ignore it as it is an innocent habit.
  • Encourage another activity to divert the toddler’s attention.
  • Once again this behavior has no sexual connotations and will most likely happen when they are bored and tired.

Stealing – to a child who is under five years old there is no such thing as stealing. This is because whatever they see lying around the house has no owner. Toddlers think that all the little interesting things is for their entertainment.

What to do:

  • Always remember that your toddler simply lacks sense and nice and pretty objects are just things they like to hold.
  • A gentle reminder is however required and say that things are not to be taken and are to be left alone.
  • Do not get heavy as you do not require a police detective at this stage. Soon enough they will learn adult values of what is mine and what is yours.

Using Bad Language – Toddlers are parrots and they love saying new words. There is not many toddlers who uses bad language which occurs by the age of preschool. All parents want to believe that bad language comes from school or day care. The truth is most of it will come from your home. If a true undesirable word comes out of your toddler’s mouth it means that they do not really know what it means.

What to do:

  • When a toddler says a rude word, do not explode over it but instead quietly say that you do not want to hear that word again.
  • Sometimes some degree of selective deafness will help parents.
  • This habit will usually disappear on its own before they reach the age of five.

All that really matters is that our toddlers bad habits is all part of growing up.
All that really matters is that our toddlers bad habits is all part of growing up.

Horrible Habits In Nice Children

I have collected some of the most famous concerns parents have and toddler’s most popular nasty habits and what to do. Now you are a pro in acquainting with the inventive antics of the average toddler you probably discovered that even the nicest child can display nasty habits. In those days before you had a toddler I bet you never saw yourself reading articles about recognizing your child's habits.

Firmness and ignoring a child although hard are the only effective methods of curing some bad habits in children

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Is it right to ignore your toddler's bad habit?

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More Annoying Kids Habits

Refusing to wear seat belts – We all know that we need to put toddlers in a car seat and buckle up. There are some children who refuse to wear a seat belt and worse has figured out how to unleash a seat belt and roam around in the car.

What to do:

  • If the child gets out of the seat pull over and buckle them back in.
  • As soon as you are on the road focus the toddler’s attention to something else other than the seat belt.
  • If the toddler repeatedly unbuckles the seat belt, parents should pull over and say that the car is not moving until they are sitting down and buckled up.

Absconding – Absconders are a real challenge for their parents. Some toddlers are always running off and getting lost. These little escapes however is associated with some danger with just the thought of traffic lights and strangers. These is enough to cause parents hearts to race.

What to do:

  • If you have an absconder make sure that you secure your home by using child proof locks and gates.
  • Ensure that your toddler carries a form of identification. I know a mother who writes her name and mobile on the child’s hands and t shirt whenever they go out.
  • Some parents use a fitting rein to control their toddlers as curbing this habit of a toddler is not easy.
  • Remain fit and vigilant at all times.

Teeth Grinding – Grinding teeth in their sleep is common on toddlers with a small number grinding their teeth through the day.

What to do:

  • There is really not a lot to be done when listening to this grinding noise. Some parents think it’s because their toddler is stressed and anxious however that is highly unlikely and toddlers just simply do this.
  • There are concerns that toddlers will wear down their teeth.
  • Some parents use a mouth guard at night to protect their toddler’s teeth


The most common habit toddlers have is biting.
The most common habit toddlers have is biting.

Stubborn children will establish a good pattern if rewarded with praise and attention when they comply.

How To Break Bad Habits In Children

As you can see even the nicest kids can develop some nasty gross habits. Rest assured that most of their problems will pass with time and maturity. Most toddlers will be over by the time their third birthday comes around. You will look back on this innocent days and smile on how you were worried silly about it.

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